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Stormwater is runoff from rain or snow that can’t be absorbed through surfaces like driveways, parking lots, roads, sidewalks, or roofs. As water travels over these surfaces, it can pick up dirt, trash, oil, grease, pesticides, fertilizers, pet waste, and other pollutants, carrying them into Richmond’s waterways.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) points to stormwater as the number-one source of surface water pollution in the nation. As such, managing stormwater runoff is the best way to decrease the amount of pollutants in our water. It’s why we've developed outreach programs to help community groups and students understand our role as caretakers of our water and environment.


Managing stormwater through mimicking nature benefits more than just the health of the James River – it can lower our energy bills, provide shade during heat waves, and improve our ability to deal with extreme rainfall events that cause our roads to flood.

Jeremy S. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Science Museum of Virginia